The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) announced AdventHealth Waterman as one of 19 hospitals in Florida to achieve the Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) Maternal and Child Health goal, focused on reducing cesarean section deliveries for first-time mothers with low-risk pregnancies.
AHCA and DOH recognized AdventHealth Waterman during the Florida Hospital Association’s annual meeting on Oct. 24 during the Celebration of Achievement in Quality and Service Awards Ceremony.
Cesarean births, or C-sections, can increase the risk of hemorrhage, infection, and cardiac events, as well as psychological stress, longer hospital stays, increased pain, and increased postpartum readmissions. For the baby, some of the consequences can include a longer hospital stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), as well as higher rates of respiratory infection. Once a woman has a C-section, she has a greater chance of having a C-section for subsequent births, increasing her risk of these major birth complications.
The high rate of low-risk cesarean births is a major maternal and child health issue in Florida, as the state’s C-section rate is 36.8% , one of the highest state rates in the nation.
C-section rates for first-time low-risk pregnancies in Florida delivery hospitals range from 13% to 60%.
AdventHealth Waterman’s C-section rate in 2018 was 20.9%, below the national goal of 23.9%.
“While a cesarean birth is a lifesaving procedure when vaginal delivery is no longer a safe option, there has been a rise in cesarean rates across the country without associated improvement in health outcomes for women or newborns,” said Dr. Marilyn Mayne, OB-GYN at AdventHealth Waterman.
In response to the rise of unnecessary C-sections across the United States, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted the HP2020 target of reducing nationwide C-section rates for low-risk births to 23.9%.
The goal of the Florida Award Program for Safely Reducing C-sections is to highlight the importance of this health care quality issue statewide and to recognize those hospitals that are contributing to providing quality health care for mothers and infants.